Why Choose Concrete Leveling?

Why Does Concrete Become Uneven?

There are a few reasons why concrete slabs can become uneven over time. Firstly, poor installation is a common culprit. If the ground underneath the slab wasn’t properly prepared or compacted before pouring the concrete, it’s more likely to shift and settle unevenly. 

Another possible reason is soil erosion. If the soil underneath the slab gets washed away, the concrete above it may eventually sink or crack. Similarly, changes in temperature and moisture levels can cause the soil to expand and contract, which can also affect the stability of the slab.

Lastly, heavy usage and wear and tear can contribute to the problem. If a slab is constantly subjected to heavy loads, such as from a parked car or foot traffic, it’s more likely to develop cracks and become uneven over time.

What Is Concrete Leveling?

Concrete leveling, also known as slab jacking, mudjacking, or polyjacking, is a process of lifting concrete surfaces that have become uneven. If left unattended, these uneven surfaces can pose safety hazards and even cause damage to vehicles or equipment.

The process of concrete leveling involves drilling small holes in the affected concrete surface and injecting something under the slab in order to lift it. This mixture fills the empty spaces, expands and solidifies, lifting the concrete back to its original level. The holes are then patched with a compound that closely matches the color of the slab. 

Concrete leveling is a cost-effective and efficient alternative to replacing a damaged concrete surface. It is also a more environmentally friendly option, as it reduces waste and requires fewer materials than a full replacement. 

Mudjacking vs Polyjacking: What’s the Difference? 

For many years, mudjacking was the go-to option. This involved pumping a cement slurry under the concrete slab to lift it. In recent decades, most contractors have moved away from mudjacking and are now using polyurethane foam. This process, referred to as polyjacking, offers many benefits compared to mudjacking, including the following:

  • Hole Size – In both types of concrete leveling, a hole must be drilled in the slab so the material can be pumped underneath. With mudjacking, the hole size is typically an inch or more. Polyjacking uses a much smaller, dime-sized hole
  • Material – With mudjacking, a cement slurry is pumped through the larger holes under the concrete to lift it. Essentially, you are trying to force enough of the slurry into place so that it pushes the slab up. Polyurethane foam is much different. It is a more precise way of lifting the slab, and the polyurethane foam does not break down and is not damaging to the environment.
  • Speed –  Mudjacking is a longer process. After it is done, you will not be able to use the slab while the slurry dries and cures. On the other hand, 15 minutes or so after polyjacking, the slab is ready for use again. 
  • Longevity – The cement slurry used in mudjacking has a tendency to erode because it contains things like soil and sand. Polyjacking is a more permanent option because it won’t break down and wash away.  
  • Cleanliness – Polyjacking is a relatively clean process. Very little material or equipment is necessary, and the holes are small. After the holes have been patched, no evidence will be left behind that the job took place. Mudjacking is a more involved and messy process.

5 Benefits of Concrete Leveling 

  1. Cost – There is some cost involved with concrete leveling, but it is much lower than having the old slab removed and a new slab poured into place. 
  2. Completed Quickly – Polyjacking takes place quickly. It requires a minimal crew, and you can use the slab within 15 minutes after the job is done.
  3. Minimal Surrounding Damage – Since there is very little equipment or manpower necessary for polyjacking, the damage to the surrounding area will be minimal or nonexistent. Typically, the only sign that the job was done is the level concrete slab and some minor differences in the colors where the small holes were drilled into the concrete.
  4. Eliminates Trip Hazards – One of the biggest issues associated with unlevel concrete slabs is that they’re a trip hazard. Concrete leveling eliminates trip hazards. 
  5. Environmental Concerns – Since you are using the old slab and moving it back into place, you are not filling the landfill with broken concrete pieces. In addition, polyurethane foam is environmentally friendly.

When Concrete Leveling Is Not the Right Choice

Although concrete leveling is suitable in most cases, there may be times when it will not be the right choice. These include the following:

  • Major Damage – If the damage is significant enough that the concrete cannot be lifted without falling apart, then this process cannot be used. Significant damage may require removing the concrete and pouring a new slab.
  • Surface Damage – If significant surface damage occurs, then slab lifting is not the process that will fix it. Other options are available to repair surface damage.
  • Tree Roots – If tree roots have caused significant cracking and breaking in the concrete, slab lifting will not work. It may be necessary to remove the concrete and replace the slab.

If you’re tired of looking at an uneven concrete slab on your property, contact Epp Foundation Repair today to schedule an evaluation and receive a repair estimate. We serve areas in four states: Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. 


Timothy Roberts

I spent 20+ years working in construction and maintenance before retiring to the keyboard to do writing full-time. I enjoy spending time with my grandkids and traveling when I’m not writing construction articles.

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